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those employees you have had to let go…….closing this chapter in the best way BOTH for the business & for them

In my last blog I shared how I have found 2 Simple Sentences helpful at the moment when I am advising Employers. In recent blogs we have also covered the kaleidoscope of employee categories a business may have right now with one exception. This exception is those employees you have had to “let go” due to the pandemic. This blog will focus on these people and how you can ensure that you as an Employer have closed this chapter, for now, in the best way BOTH for the business and for these employees.  Essentially getting right to it, they certainly are PEOPLE, real people. I am not a big fan of the term “Human Resources” I guess you may have guessed that from my business name where I interplayed the terminology deliberately choosing REASONS. The power of language continues to astound me after 40 years on the planet (plus 17 days but who’s counting?!) and we do need to be cautious with how we describe things. At the very start I used the terminology “you have had to let go” and again that is deeply informative in terms of its messaging. You had NO choice, you made the best decision you could make at the time with the information you had so breath in some relief and hopefully any potential guilt might lessen for you.

From the employees’ perspective we hope that the initial storm has calmed somewhat and that life has settled down in some way in this adjustment period. Hopefully all relevant social welfare benefits have kicked in and there is support from other financial comfort factors eg. banks around mortgage payments, rent freezes etc. I have received lots of feedback that people have found Social Welfare very helpful and of course Citizens Information are in the leagues of Irish Heroes at this stage working hard to provide all the latest info, I do find their online chat function so helpful and I am on record for saying this lots!

Double check that you have closed out ALL paperwork for the Employees, that they have everything they need from you in terms of documentation including references and information such as copies of training records if possible. Send them a message to confirm this and to remind them again that you are there as a support should they need anything from a previous Employer perspective. That language is important as that is how you have interacted with this person all along, as an Employer, you aren’t suddenly now jumping over to any other “category” as you may be trying to fix things for them. We can be too helpful at times and we just end up confusing people and boundaries get crossed and take it from me that is never good.

Finally if you are anyway like me and are addicted (literally) to apologizing at times maybe try to apologize less when you might be in contact, you did not cause this crisis and you have responded as well as you can, for now. Plus when you constantly apologize people can get really annoyed!

In terms of what we always advise is ensure that all the Employees Records are up to date and that you have kept any relevant notes you need to as an Employer for future reference. A nice touch might be to keep in contact a couple of times a year if you wish to, and indeed it may be the case that you may be friends with some of this group, a trickier one but nonetheless no reason to lose a friendship either.

I hope these 3 blogs that I have written over the recent weeks have given you some practical tips to balance the current pressures. I know there are many challenges you face everyday however I also know that you have probably accessed resilience you didn’t know you had and for this I salute you! It really isn’t easy being an Employer, its right up there with parenting and if I could design a t-shirt for Employers it would read in bold “Guess what, it’s never about YOU!”. I hope you find that funny and if not then I do apologize.

I will write again ….


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